The label on the “blaq mask” said to check the website for instructions, and this is why it took me two months to try it because that seems really inefficient, and fuck you for not printing it on the bottle like responsible humans.
The website, in turn, has six simple steps, one of which is, “gaze at your fine self in the mirror,” so, five.
I don’t know where I get this from, except I do and it’s courtesy of my dad, that I can’t be bothered with printed instructions. I read them and immediately forget key elements like numbers and all the words in bold. If I’m cooking, I will read the same recipe 47 times to make sure I didn’t forget a step, and then realize I used a full tablespoon instead of a teaspoon of something important.
RIP pumpkin muffins, 2018.
Step number three of the famous charcoal face mask trending on social media is:
“Apply an even layer to your t-zone areas, avoiding the lips, hairline, and brows.”
Check. If only “t-zone” meant “your entire fucking face.”
As I swiped more of the staggeringly shiny goo on my cheek, I had a quick thought to how I hadn’t seen any photos of anyone covered in full on the website. Initially I had assumed this was due to the striking resemblance to black-face the company would rightly want to avoid. Especially as the bottle had a “share your selfie with #blaqmask” that I cringed at. But upon second look, all the models had a swift, fallen-Zorro-mask look. A quick strip across the nose and upper cheek, which even with my zero-sum skills at personal care I know is not the t-zone. That’s a minus sign.
I sat on the edge of my bed, watching paint dry, and googled more info, and there I found the video of poor Joanna, who put the mask on her whole face and then uploaded the sordid affair to YouTube. The deal with this experience is that the substance shrink-wraps to your skin so that what was once gooey tar is now duct tape and you are freeing yourself from a hostage situation. Between Joanna’s screams I took a look at my own face and cursed my impatience while also remaining impatient at the whole ordeal.
It started well enough, even if it was way less satisfying than advertised. How do such fresh-faced models have so much gunk to pull out of their pores? I got nothing. Some extra skin, and then some skin that wasn’t so extra and I would have preferred to leave it on my face.
The actual t-zone area came off with relative ease, as did my chin. Then I got to my cheeks, and the ghost of Joanna past came right up alongside. If you knew your bikini wax was going to look as bad as it felt, you wouldn’t get one, right? This is my FACE, I thought as I pulled patches of black strings as far as they would give, watching the meat of my cheek strain from the force. Finally, I had long seaweed strips hanging from the sides of my head when I gave up.
Since I had actually followed step one (apply a patch test in case you’re allergic,) I knew that the mask came off with warm water when it was in goo form. Which surely it would go back to with enough warm water. I let the tarry fruit leathers melt off in the shower, wondering why Joanna didn’t just do that too. Or why they didn’t add that to the instructions, but again, logistics did not seem to be the strong suit of the company.
Anyway, my cheeks have an enviable rosy glow, and I’m basically a beauty blogger now.